A BUILDING which once housed an award-winning food store has been given permission to be converted into an office.

The Food Company in Marks Tey closed in September 2017.

Aaron Linch, director of the Food Company, has applied to Colchester Council to change the use of the building.

He said permission was needed to give the building a new lease of life and Colchester Council has given the plans the green light.

The application form said Mr Linch had been advised to “market the building for office use” after there were no takers in its current form.

It said: “The building has been vacant for over 12 months.

“After being actively marketed by both local and London agents we have been advised by our professional consultants to market the building as office use. We are applying for a change of use prior to completing any lease.

“The building/area requires a new lease of life and we feel this will be achieved by way of a change of use, with any new occupier taking a minimum ten year lease.”

The Food Company opened in 2000, at a time when foodies were worried about the disappearance of independent butchers, fishmongers and bakers from high streets.

The shop won the Essex Life Fine Food and Drink award for Retailer of the Year in 2011 and also the Great Taste Shop of the Year in 2013.

In October it was revealed the company was in discussions with Holmes & Hills solicitors.

However, Partner Phil Davies said the firm was continuing to search for a new premises as it was “running out of space” at its Braintree base.

Mr Davies confirmed the firm is not planning to leave Braintree.